95-Year-Old Veteran Meets The Third Grader Who Wrote Him A Life-Changing Letter 12 Years Ago
2023/07/16

A World War II veteran was brought to tears after finally meeting the young pen pal who wrote him a letter thanking him for his service 12 years ago, saying 'some miracles do happen.' 

Frank Grasberger, 95, from Strongsville, Ohio, received the letter from DaShauna Priest, 21, while on an honor flight to Washington, D.C. in 2009. He has carried it with him ever since, but he was never able to find her to thank her in person.  

'I'd never be without it...it's something that somebody thought of me that much,' Grasberger told CBS News of the handwritten message. 'I'm tickled to death that I have a letter like this. ' 

Emotional moment: Frank Grasberger, 95, from Strongsville, Ohio, met DaShauna Priest, 21, for the first time this summer, 12 years after she wrote him a letter thanking him for his service 

Incredible: Grasberger was stunned when Priest walked in wearing her National Guard uniform, saying: 'You're not the girl'

Aww! Priest brought the thank you letter that he and his wife Delores sent to her school to deliver to her. Up until that moment, they had no idea if she had ever received itPriest was just nine years old when she wrote to him in her third-grade class, unaware that the letter would become his prized possession.  

'Dear WWII Veteran,' she wrote. 'Thank you for saving us from Hitler. If it wasn't for you we would never have freedom. You made freedom for us. You sacrificed your life. I'm so happy you made sacrifices. ' 

The letter was signed, 'Your friend, Dashauna Priest.' 

'We never could find her,' Grasberger's wife Delores told the outlet. 'He says, "Before I close my eyes I have to find her. I have to find her."' 

'Thank you for saving us': Priest was just nine years old when she wrote to Grasberger in her third-grade class, unaware that he would cherish her letter for years to come 

Prized possession: The veteran received the letter from Priest while on an honor flight to Washington, D.C. in 2009 and has carried it with him ever since 

No luck: Grasberger and Delores spent years trying to find Priest so he could thank her for the letter in person Nearly everyone at Vitalia Senior Residences — where Grasberger lives — has seen Priest's letter and knows what it means to him. 

An employee familiar with the story was able to track Priest down online and invited her to meet him. 

Priest, who lives about an hour away, surprised Grasberger in the conference room in the senior living facility wearing her National Guard uniform.  

Grasberger was stunned when she handed him a bouquet of roses and the thank you letter that he and his wife sent to her school to deliver to her. Up until that moment, they had no idea if she had ever received it. 

Amazing: An employee at Vitalia Senior Residences found Priest online and arranged for her to surprise the veteran a few days later. A video of the moment went viral on TikTok

Grasberger, Delores, and their daughter Bonnie formed a close bond with Priest. A heartwarming video of their emotional meeting went viral on TikTok, garnering millions of views. They plan to stay in touch and consider Priest as part of their family. The story was shared by Vitalia Senior Residences on Facebook. Grasberger referred to Priest as his "third daughter," and Delores emphasized that their connection began and ended with love and affection.

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